Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ok Bye.

I haven’t even started writing and I’m already tearing up…

The day we will all eventually experience one day (well, another four years for some…JANICE!) has finally come. It’s the most bittersweet cell for QCCC; lots of food, lots of laughs, and a few tears shed. As all our members and a few of our alumni gather officially together as QCCC for the last time this year, we part farewell to our beloved graduates, Steph, Gillian, and Leivin. As per QCCC tradition, our members put together a goodbye song, and warm and fuzzy scrapbooks of memories for our grads.

We concluded our bittersweet night with a personal year-end sharing from each of our members. We talked about our journey of faith, the struggles faced in school and personal life, our first time at a QCCC cell, and how we have all grown so much in our faith this year. We heard words of encouragement from our graduates and alumni, and spoke about how much the QCCC family means to some of us.

As the school year comes to an end and our graduates depart, we recalled all the saints we introduced to QCCC Saintspiration this year. We called on them and asked for their intercession for the many different aspects of our lives.

With the closing prayer said and all our intentions brought up, we continue to pray for our graduates as they embark on their future endeavours. We wish them the best and that God may shine His light on them every step of the way.

Blinded By His Blessings

As our highly anticipated friends and visitors from Toronto stepped foot into Newman House, the room was suddenly filled with the familiar aroma of GT. What does GT smell like? You’ll have to find out yourselves at GT 2014 in early September! 

There was no better way to show how much we are blinded by God’s blessings every day than for the entire GT Committee to drive three hours to Kingston to share a night of laughs, sharing, and reflection with us.

Our activity tonight required some careful treading as we experienced searching for others behind a blindfold. This very disability alone reminds us how much we take our gift of sight, and all the small things we have for granted. We receive so many blessings every day of our lives, and we often get blinded by them and forget about the source of all our blessings. Students and those in the work force are often overwhelmed with school or an extremely quick-paced schedule that they forget to leave some time for God and prayer. It’s important to reflect not only on our suffering and personal struggles, but also on all the blessings of happiness, friends, and family that God has granted us with.

Sometimes we face very difficult times and we ask why our loving and merciful God is putting us through it. We have to remember that God works on a completely different schedule and has a unique plan for each one of us. His plan for us isn’t always the way we want it, and His blessings are truly in disguise sometimes.

#BlogPost #QCCC #40LentenDays

It’s that time of year again where we all crave our favourite things—whether it be our favourite foods or our favourite activities. It’s also the time we can eat our friend’s favourite food in front of them but they can’t do anything but just look at you in #tears and #sadness.

But of course, most importantly, it is the Season of Lent; a season of prayer, almsgiving, and sacrifice. During the Lenten Season, we recall the suffering of Christ, His death, and His resurrection. This is a time where Christians are called to repent for our sins as we reflect on each additional wound we add onto Jesus’ body for every time we sin. It is also a time for deeper prayer and reflection as we walk the Stations of the Cross together with Jesus and experience his journey of pain and suffering.

The children of QCCC made colourful Lenten chains to guide us on our Lenten journey. These chains consisted of ideas written by our fellow QCCC members, which helped us stay on track this Lenten season through tasks of almsgiving, sacrifice, and prayer. With ten tasks to a chain and a cut-out cross to complete it, we all brought home with us a colourful personalized rosary. We also welcomed all our alumni to walk with Christ this Lenten Journey by completing the QCCC Lenten Challenge.

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord…and don’t forget to upload your pictures to our Facebook album with #QCCC #40LentenDays!

Did Someone Make Fish for Dinner?

What better way than to celebrate Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year with taking a selfie with Pope Francis?

The evening was definitely a fishy scavenger hunt as the Jesus Fish led us around Newman House. Our activity brought out both the crazy and creative sides of our members as we embarked on a journey to find Pope Francis and Father Raymond and take selfies with them. Taking awkward family pictures, and showing crazy facial expressions on a roller coaster were just some of the highlights of the photo scavenger hunt. Let’s not forget about the photo in a photo in a photo in a photo in a photo…? Photoception.

The scavenger hunt reminded us about the persecution of Christians in the early Church. Early Christians used the Jesus Fish, Ichthys, as a secret symbol of Christianity. This Greek word is an acronym that translates directly into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour”. A series of the fish symbols were used to point Christians toward underground Churches when they were illegal in the early Church.

We looked at the persecution of Christians and of the Holy Catholic Church, which is still very evident in our world today. We also reflected on the persecution and struggles we face as Christians and as messengers of Christ in our growingly secular society. Our discussion brought up excellent strategies that may make our duty as Christians much easier: expanding our personal knowledge on the faith, spreading the Good News together in groups such as QCCC, and most importantly through prayer.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). With this very teaching Jesus leaves us, let us now go out and be fishers of men!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

JUCCC 2014 Winter Retreat!

This year’s JUCCC Retreat can be summarized with four phrases: plumbing, crazy hour(s), hipster priest, and snowman roadkill. It was a packed two days and two nights, a whirlwind of taking on and off shoes twenty three times a day, but not a moment passed by that an incredible memory wasn’t created.

We arrived at Fair Havens Ministries on Saturday night and began our retreat with a toaster activity that doubled as an icebreaker and a midnight snack. Strange toppings that should never be seen together on toast—carrots and ketchup? bacon bits and sweet ‘n sour sauce?—were eaten by anyone who had the toast pop up from the toaster while they were answering a question.

A mini singspiration and opening mass conducted by Father Kuzma set the spiritual tone for the rest of the retreat. This year’s theme was “Faith in Action” where Father Kuzma gave several talks about the importance of mass to Catholics and the seven deadly sins. Father Kuzma was not only an incredible speaker who answered many of the questions we young people have surrounding our faith, but he was also quick to make jokes, down for jamming out on the piano during practise, and a proponent user of calling fellow male friends ‘bro’. I mean, he asked to do a group picture like this:

How cool is that?

Singspiration, Divine Mercy, and Adoration music was led by LCCC (and the amazingly talented pianist from MCCC!) on Sunday, where they brought the beauty of their voices to praise the Lord in song.

Although a plumbing incident forced all the girls to relocate lodges, this mishap allowed the wonder of God’s presence to be reflected through the way everyone pulled through together. The retreat coordinators generously provided another lodge for all the girls (one with incredibly soft mattresses, individual washrooms, and double beds), the drivers shuttled the girls between sites even if it was 3am in the morning, and everyone helped to make sure the girls had everything they needed for the night. Things don’t always go according to plan, but God certainly never leaves us stranded!
Not only did everyone grow spiritually through Father Kuzma’s talks and the liturgical aspects of the retreat (thank you, MCCC), but everyone had fun chilling, playing games, and talking till all hours of the night. Old school music was unashamedly sung throughout the night, heartfelt messages were written for one another, and some crazy muscle skills were exhibited.


The retreat ended on Monday afternoon with many sad goodbyes—but not without a final laugh when a snowman was built and filmed as it was run over by a car (we’re not sadists, I swear). All in all, the retreat was a wonderful time for people to reconnect with old friends, meet new people, and rediscover their faith with God. With the hustle and bustle of school, we often forget what it’s like to take a break from the world and spend some time with the Big Man upstairs—and what it’s like when thirty people sing backstreet boys together at 2am in the morning!